Union Fire District: Safety Always is our Motto!
February 27, 2012
By Deputy Chief Kevin D. Quinn and Deputy Chief Steven Pinch, Union Fire District, South Kingstown, RI
Safety should be a priority for every emergency responder, and at the Union Fire District in South Kingstown, RI, safety is a guiding factor for every one of our 120 active volunteer firefighters and eight stations.
South Kingstown is located 24 miles south of Providence, on the state’s southern shore. The town’s population is just over 30,000 people with a land area of 57.1 square miles. Each year the district responds to over 800 calls for fire service.
The district is governed by five elected wardens, and the command staff is made up of a Chief and four Deputy Chiefs. The district also employs an administrator, tax collector, clerk, mechanic, maintenance person, and code enforcement division.
The Union Fire District, through the leadership of Chief Robert Perry, has a strong commitment to safety. The district’s motto is “Safety Always,” which is attached to every apparatus bay door in the district. It is the first thing a driver and officer see when leaving for a call.
We have also added reflective markings on the rear of many of our vehicles and have changed the rear marking lights from plain red to a combination of red and amber. All of our members have signed the International First Responder Seatbelt Pledge and are issued a tee shirt during their first recruit class with the district logo — “Safety Always” — printed on the right sleeve. Our three newest vehicles have “Everyone goes Home” on the glass of each rear passenger door.
Making sure that Everyone Goes Home is the responsibility of everyone in the department. To show our commitment to the Everyone Goes Home program, we constantly send and reinforce the message of firefighter safety. Creating a culture of safety is key to preventing tragedies and is taken very seriously at the Union Fire District. All members of our organization are committed to ensuring the health, wellness, and safety of our firefighters.